The toll in the Assam floods rose to 73 with four more deaths Wednesday even as the situation improved significantly with the water level of the Brahmaputra receding below the red mark across the state. With around 8,000 people lodged at various relief camps, 2.67 lakh people in 14 districts were still affected by the floods, an official report said. Two deaths were reported in Morigaon and one each in South Salmara and Lakhimpur.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal met Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in New Delhi and requested him to release the central share of Rs 1,138 crore for completion of schemes under the Flood Management Programme (FMP) of the 11th and 12th Five Year Plans. The state has already released its share for 141 schemes under the FMP, Sonowal told Jaitley.
Sonowal, who is on a three-day visit to the national capital, had on Tuesday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Apprising the PM of the situation, Sonowal had requested him to launch a ‘Prime Minister’s Special Programme for Flood and Erosion Control’ to develop road-cum-embankments on a 5,000 km stretch and ensure regular maintenance and sustainability of the embankments. Sonowal told Modi that most of the state’s existing embankments along the Brahmaputra and other rivers were constructed in the 1950s and had become increasingly vulnerable to breaches.